Mount Aloysius College

Mount Aloysius President Foley Published in Vital Speeches

CRESSON, Pa. January 27, 2015 – The keynote address delivered by President Foley to the Cresson American Legion Post on Veterans Day was selected for inclusion in the prestigious journal Vital Speeches of the Day.  Vital Speeches publishes 120 speeches per year by thought-leaders from around the world.  President Foley’s address, “Veterans Day Remembrance: Of Soldiers and Dreamers,” appeared in an issue which contained 10 speeches, including recent remarks by President Barack Obama, Prime Minister David Cameron, Australian Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson and the celebrated American writer, Ursula Le Guin.

Foley’s speech was delivered on Veteran’s Day and recounted the experiences of an uncle who was killed in the Second World War and reflected his own experiences as a volunteer in Belfast, Northern Ireland during its “Troubles.”

The kernel of President Foley’s talk was clear, timeless as war itself, and universal—“War is about winning and losing.  Someone wins and someone loses.  War is also about how even as we win, we are leaving behind—losing—something of ourselves.”  His remarks were published in the January 2015 Vol.1 issue of Vital Speeches of the Day.  

Mount Aloysius College President Foley is a summa cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College and Yale Law School.  He serves on several local, regional and national boards, including Altoona-Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD), Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI), St. Xavier University, Chicago, and the NCAA Presidents Council and previously chaired eight statewide boards and commissions, including the Governor’s Task Force on Workforce Development, PennSERVE, and the State Board of Vocational Rehabilitation.  He was one of four Pennsylvania college presidents invited by the White House to their recent Conference on Higher Education.


Mount Aloysius Honors Dr. Martin Luther King With Weeklong Activities

CRESSON, Pa. January 19, 2015 – Mount Aloysius College is commemorating the life of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. with a weeklong series of service activities conducted throughout the campus and the community.  This evening, a highlight of the week will be the choir “Essence of Joy,“ offering music from the African and African-American Traditions at 7:00 p.m. in historic Alumni Hall.  “Essence of Joy” is one of eight choral ensembles from the Penn State School of Music.  There is no charge for admission.

Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley noted that the school’s commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King is inclusive and community oriented.  “The College traditionally commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with proactive service contributions to the community, and cultural events that reflect the unique contributions of African-Americans to our national tapestry.  Rather than a day-off,” said President Foley, “we opt, instead, for a week-on to offer students an opportunity to learn more about his pivotal place in American and global history, and to follow his example of selflessness.” 

To commemorate the week, the College’s Community Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship Center has coordinated a series of service activities that students are undertaking during the week.  These include writing and delivering cards to local hospice patients, writing and sending letters of thanks to US service personnel stationed overseas, mobilizing recycling efforts throughout the campus, organizing a community clothing drive and collecting funds to be donated to a local nonprofit service organization.  The series of service events is organized in a fun, competitive way among the Mount Aloysius College student groups.  The winning group will chose the non-profit beneficiary of the fund-drive.  

Various students groups are choosing to commemorate Dr. King’s legacy through a variety of service activities.  During the week, the College’s Student Activities office is offering students the opportunity to see the film “Selma” at local theaters.


Mount Aloysius Students Institute "Change for Change"

CRESSON, Pa. – Sometimes just hearing a story can bring about a change and move people to action.  Recently some Mount Aloysius College students, hearing the story of a classmate whose family takes in foster children, were moved to make life a bit easier for similar local families.  The class, technically known as Connections - Section 36, is taught by Ms. Christine Koren, MBA.  “Hearing the story of one of our students who lives inside a foster family, her classmates wanted to help more foster families in our area,” she said. “They created “Change for Change,” raising money and collecting toys then donating them to Professional Family Care Services.  I’m really proud of them.”

Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley appreciates both the actions of the Mountie freshman and the story behind their motivation.  “Just two months into this academic year, it’s great to see freshmen grasping the ethos of the College,” he said.  “We frequently cite the `Mount Aloysius story’ to visitors, staff, students and even prospective students and their families.  In general terms, the Mount Aloysius story is about identifying a need, making a commitment, and then stepping forward to fill that need—be it personal, familial, regional or global.  I extend my congratulations to the students and faculty for reaching out and helping others.  Especially this time of year, we see this self-less impulse at work all over campus in so many ways.”

At Mount Aloysius College, the freshman Connections seminar is aimed focusing first year students on participating in the College’s community of thinkers and learners.  According to Dr. Michael Jones, coordinator of the Connections Seminars on campus, “The Mount Aloysius College Connections Seminar for freshmen delves into academic expectations, resources, values, and the 161-year old traditions of Mount Aloysius College.  Students are challenged,” added Dr. Jones, “to continue developing and recognizing their intellectual potential, understand their academic and moral responsibilities, and examine their rights and responsibilities as local, regional and global citizens.”

During the past two years over 25,000 hours of community service has been forthcoming from Mount Aloysius College students, faculty and staff. These efforts translate to over a half million dollars in value to the communities, not-for-profits and agencies helped by the College.  Each of the 100 student clubs on campus has a service component built right into their chapters, and this Mount Aloysius College “Connections” seminar, attended by all freshmen, instills the need and the expectation that MAC students give back to their communities.

Professional Family Care Services, headquartered in Johnstown, Pa., is a non-profit agency focused on child welfare services. They manage foster parenting and assist in adoption for children of all ages.     The agency also provides special needs support, called early Intervention, for little ones from birth through age three and operates this area's Early Head Start program.

Anyone wishing to contribute to “Change for Change” should contact the College at (814) 886-4131.



Mount Aloysius Incoming Students Help Haiti

CRESSON, Pa. – The incoming class at Mount Aloysius College is likely the largest ever.  These students–who hail from 18 states, five foreign countries and three continents –also arrived with big hearts ready to help those in need.  Prior to arriving on the Cresson campus, the incoming Mount Aloysius College students collected an array of items destined to help needy Haitian children.  The students gathered needed items like underwear and socks for both boys and girls, hair ties and other toiletries for young girls, and lots of toys like balls, kites, and other small fun gifts for the children.   As the students arrived for Move-in Day their collected gifts were stacked at a receiving station in Cosgrave Hall.  This week the first shipment was loaded up and sent over to Sister Martha of the Carmelite Community of the Word in Loretto, Pa.  Once again, Sister Martha is assembling a tractor-trailer filled with items bound for Haiti later this fall.  During Orientation, MAC students attended “Leadership Through Service.”   Incoming Mount Aloysius students also worked on service projects for area school children, US service veterans, and the elderly.  Last year Mount Aloysius College students, faculty and staff and donated nearly 12,000 hours of service to various community projects, locally, regionally and internationally.

Shown here, from left, are: Elaine Grant, director of student activities at Mount Aloysius College; Caitlyn Spetzer, a nursing student from State College, Pa.; Claire Kirsch, a psychology major from Clymer, Pa., Chelsea Snelick, a Mount Aloysius nursing student from Brockway, Pa.; Chandler Rhoades, events and marketing specialist for Mount Aloysius; and Harold Ingram, a business major from Philadelphia, Pa.


Anonymous $500,000 Gift to Mount Aloysius Will Memorialize Mercy Sister

CRESSON, Pa. – An anonymous benefactor with a long memory and a generous heart has donated $500,000 toward the renovation and re-purposing of the Mount Aloysius College’s former gymnasium–the Health and Fitness Center.   Mount Aloysius College President Tom Foley noted that, other than a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this anonymous gift is the largest in the College’s current capital campaign.

“Everyone associated with Mount Aloysius College is extremely grateful for this gift,” said President Foley.  “The donor has directed us to memorialize the work of Sister Virginia “Ginny” Bertschi, RSM who worked shoulder-to-shoulder with then College President Sr. Mary Ann Dillon, RSM as her Administrative Senior Vice President.  Together with the College’s Board, they engineered the formulation and execution of a transformational Campus Master Plan.  The recent completion of the Athletic Convocation and Wellness Center marks the culmination of that Plan.”

President Foley noted that the scope of achievement by the Sisters Bertschi-Dillon team is remarkable and made an historic impact on the beautification of the 193-acre campus.  “Sister Ginny Bertschi with Sister Mary Ann Dillon oversaw the construction of two modern dormitories– McAuley Hall and Misciagna Residence– a 40 percent expansion of Cosgrave Center, the complete remodeling of the Nursing wing, the general beautification of the grounds–including the brick-framed entrance to the College, the funding of the brick walkways, and so many other improvements which protect the many architectural highlights of Old Main while integrating the modern campus that is Mount Aloysius College today.”

President Foley noted that Sister Virginia Bertschi was a remarkable administrative leader.  “By all accounts, Sister Ginny was smart, resilient and a tireless asset to Mount Aloysius College.  She embodied dynamic commonsense, and was a model of creative stewardship as, together with Sister Mary Ann Dillon and the rest of the College’s Board of Trustees, they sought new ways to advance the College.  It is the wish of this generous donor,” he said, “to memorialize her contributions to the College and to the community by naming this great student space, `The Sister Virginia Bertschi Center.’”

The Sister Virginia Bertschi Center occupies central space within the beautiful 193-acre Mount Aloysius College campus.  The building sits just off the central red-brick walking mall which connects the iconic Main Building westward toward the Library–adding access to Cosgrave Center and paths to two residence halls—Ihmsen and Misciagna along the way.

Plans for repurposing the multi-purpose facility call for student-centered spaces where commuter and residential students can relax, socialize, study, conduct meetings, enjoy games and manage the business of over 100 student clubs, teams and organizations on campus.  Kitchen facilities will allow students to enjoy snacks and will also give the College an additional venue for its growing roster of special events.

Anyone seeking additional information regarding support to Mount Aloysius College should contact Mrs. Jennifer Dubuque, vice president for institutional advancement at Mount Aloysius College.  She can be reached at (814) 886-6331 or by email at